Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCTA warns sex workers: You’re not essential service

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has warned sex workers and operators of nightclubs and bars across the city not to operate until the COVID-19 restriction is lifted.

Mr. Ikharo Attah, Chairman, FCT Task Team on COVID-19, handed down the warning, Saturday, while monitoring compliance with the regulations at Kubwa, Gwarimpa and Wuse areas of the nation’s capital.

Attah told journalists after the operation, “The ban on nightclubs, parks and bars is yet to be lifted, hence the need for us to sustain routine inspection and ensure compliance. We believe that if we relax our vigilance, with the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, it would not be good for the city.”

While expressing satisfaction with the compliance level by the nightclub operators, Attah complained about the high number of suspected sex workers around buildings housing the nightclubs in Kubwa.

He noted, “The presence of the ‘ladies of the night’ is a violation of the curfew because they are not on the exemption list of essential workers. Their presence made us carry out full checks on some nightclubs which were truly closed.

“At moments like these, we expect them to stop the unholy trade in their own interest because the men who may patronise them may be COVID-19 positive.”

However, the National Coordinator, Nigeria Sex Workers Association, Amaka Enemo, has bemoaned the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enemo insisted that sex workers offer “essential services,” but they continue to remain indoors because their services involve “substantial bodily contact.”

“Sex workers also offer essential services. However, there is no way sex workers can do their work without body contact. So, they are staying at home to watch what happens.

“The government has announced a lockdown and as law-abiding citizens, we will not flout the law. If the government says sit at home, we will all obey because nobody wants to die.

“We fall under essential services but ours is peculiar because of the nature of body contact.

“You cannot compare it to doctors because the doctors are not making full body contact with people the way we do.”




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